Bring on the good fortune! Southern-style Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas & Ham pair well with collard greens and cornbread for a traditional New Year’s Day meal.
Call me superstitious, but every New Year’s Day, we make the traditional meal of hoppin’ john, cornbread, and collard greens. These dishes are thought to represent coins, gold, and money, respectively. Southern traditions are steeped in pagan beliefs, probably more than some want to admit, and this has that feel to me. There is so much history associated with Southern ways of making black-eyed peas, including obvious roots and credit to the Black community.
This recipe is my personal favorite way to make black-eyed peas, so while it’s not exactly a hoppin’ john recipe, it’s what we serve on this holiday.
Tips for Making Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas & Ham
This recipe specifically uses the Instant Pot. Using a countertop pressure cooker has some serious benefits!
- No Stovetop Space! You don’t have to use up a burner on the stove top to make these.
- No Soak Time! You can use dried black-eyed peas without having to soak for hours and rinse them.
- No Babysitting! Using the Instant Pot means you don’t have to keep an eye on this recipe.
After cooking a big holiday meal, for example, I know I want some down time in the kitchen! I make these every New Year’s Day, and it’s just so nice to have one recipe that barely requires my attention.
What Ham Should I Use?
I’m Southern, y’all might have heard LOL, so I like to use country ham for this. You can use cooked ham, spiral cut ham, or a ham bone. Using a ham hock might be too big for this ratio, but if you have one you could use some of the meat.
Do not use deli-sliced ham. It will just fall apart and not impart much flavor.
How to Make Ahead and Store Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas & Ham
This is a great recipe to make ahead. Because we use the Instant Pot or similar pressure cooker, you can make these ahead and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat them on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring gently until they are thoroughly warmed.
You can also wait and make these right before serving. Using the Instant Pot means you don’t have to babysit them, and they do not use up stovetop space!
Store your Black-Eyed Peas & Ham in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze these in an airtight bag or container for up to 3 months. To defrost, put the container into the fridge for up to one day, then reheat on the stovetop until thoroughly warmed.
Other Great New Year’s Day Recipes
Black-Eyed Peas & Ham are supposed to bring good wealth and fortune in the New Year! Eat these on New Year’s Day along with these other traditional recipes:
Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas & Ham
- Instant Pot
- 2 cups dried black-eyed peas
- 6 cups water or stock
- 1/2 cup cubed ham
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf
To Make the Ham
- Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting.
- Cook your ham for several minutes, stirring as needed, until it is brown and fragrant.
- Remove the ham and set aside.
To Make the Black-Eyed Peas
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the Instant Pot.
- Close and lock the lid, making sure it is set to "sealing."
- Set your Instant Pot to Pressure Cook for 14 minutes. This will result in tender peas.
- Allow your peas to cook completely.
- Allow your peas to naturally release for at least 20 minutes.
- Manually release any more pressure, then remove the lid.
- Taste your peas, adjusting the salt level as desired.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf. Serve warm, topping with the ham.